Dear fellow Singaporeans,
The Internet has been seething with anger over the latest round of salary increase for our ministers. I don’t need to go into the figures for you already know them.
Not only have the ministers lavished on themselves quite obscene salaries but they have also, through their remarks, shown complete and utter contempt for the feelings of Singaporeans. Which prime minister would say that he and his colleagues should not be expected to make 'unnecessary financial sacrifices' when even a minister is paid more than the president of the United States?
What's more, this comes on the heel of a GST hike amidst data showing that lower-income earners continue to see their wages shrink. And then the Prime Minister tells us that it does this in order to help the poor.
Enough of blogging. Enough of posting your frustrations online. Enough of complains. We’ve been doing that ever since the scheme of pegging ministerial pay to the most lucrative professional salaries started in the mid-1990s.
We need to stop talking and start exercising our rights – no, our solemn duty – to speak up for our nation. We need to let the PAP know that it cannot treat us like doormats.
I know many of you are still fearful. But you must act in spite of your fears. When you do, you'll discover the power of your courage you never thought you had. When enough of us overcome that fear, the PAP will listen.
Let not our fear freeze us into inaction. And let it not be remarked that, like Nero, we fiddled while Rome burned.
What can you do? For starters, go down to Orchard Road at Ngee Ann City Shopping Centre this Saturday, 31 March, starting from 12 noon to about 3 pm where my colleagues and I will be selling the book The Power of Courage. Come by to say hello and leave us your contact. If you have children, bring them along. My kids will be there.
We will need your assistance in the planning of a series of activities leading up to May Day in a month’s time. Here’s your opportunity to do something constructive and to really stand up for Singapore.
Remember my fellow Singaporeans, we are citizens, not slaves! Citizens have rights and we need to exercise those rights. I leave you with this thought: Aeroplanes are safer on the ground, but that was not what aeroplanes are made for.
See you on Saturday!
Chee Soon Juan
(30 Mar 2007)